Choosing an Online Criminal Justice Degree Program

If you choose to sign up for an online criminal justice program versus getting the traditional on-campus education, you need to consider a variety of factors before you decide to enroll in a particular online school.

The field of criminal justice continues to grow in terms of employment despite the tough economy, and there are a variety of careers that you can choose from depending on your particular strengths, interest and professional goals. It is nearly recession-proof; there will be career opportunities in the field of criminal justice for as long as crime is rampant in society.

Earning an online degree in criminal justice can help you land a job in law enforcement, whether at the state, local or federal level. Additionally, there are criminal justice jobs available in the private sector that you can qualify for.

Why Study Online?

Enrolling in an online criminal justice program can be a smart move, especially for those who are limited by professional obligations. Whether you are looking for career advancement or a career shift, these criminal justice online degrees will allow you to attend class at your convenience.

Those with familial obligations, such as homemakers, will also find online degree programs in this field convenient. You can still make time to meet your family’s needs by working your training around your regular schedule. You can begin classes in the afternoon while your kids are in school, or at night after you’ve completed your chores.

This is also beneficial for those with limited financial resources as you can cut down on transportation and dormitory expenses.

Important Considerations

  • Look for institutionally accredited online colleges. Obtaining a criminal justice degree from schools that are accredited will mean that you hold a valuable and certifiable degree from a reputable institution that employers will recognize and accept.
  • Choose a program that will provide you with hands-on training or an internship. This is essential since most careers in criminal justice field require skills that can only be learned on the job, such as defending yourself, dealing with potentially violent felons, or negotiating with other people. The best online degree programs will recognize that this format of learning has its limits and will provide opportunities for students to apply theories they learn in an online classroom to practical experiences.
  • That said another thing to consider is if the online criminal justice program has established relationships with local law enforcement agencies such as police departments or law offices to facilitate the internship and on-the-job training component of your education. And while no school can guarantee you employment upon graduation, they should at least have a career center wherein you can find local job openings so you can apply for available criminal justice jobs.
  • Look into the faculty who will be instructing you on the criminal justice online courses you need to take. Find out if they are esteemed professionals in the field. Most online universities provide short biographies of the faculty on their websites for transparency in this regard.
  • There are several institutions that offer criminal justice scholarships to students who are experiencing financial difficulties that you should look into if you are in need of financial aid.
  • Some of the best online degree programs provide high quality technical support for their students. This is especially helpful since unforeseen technical issues can come up in an online learning environment.